As a line of severe storms roared eastward across the interior Northeast Wednesday night, dozens of wind damage reports came in. Most of these reports were related to fallen trees or downed power lines, but in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the National Weather Service has declared that a tornado hit the town and surrounding areas.
Numerous videos and photos are coming in from the area, showing destroyed buildings and damage to other structures. According to the Luzerne County Emergency Management, homes and several businesses have been shredded by the very strong winds associated with the tornado. The Arena Hub Plaza, a popular shopping center in Pennsylvania, has sustained significant damage and will be closed until further notice as well.
Unfortunately, six injuries have been reported, and crews are searching through debris to be sure all are accounted for.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is out and investigating the damage, and determined it to be from a tornado. They have ranked this tornado as an EF-2 with winds up to 130 mph while being on the ground for 0.75 miles. Here’s the NWS at Binghamton’s statement on this tornado: “A severe thunderstorm moved across Luzerne County between 930 and 1030 pm on Wednesday June 13 2018, producing an EF2 tornado in Wilkes-Barre Township around 1000 pm. The tornado touched down near Mundy Street and Highland Park Boulevard by the Wyoming Valley Mall and traveled about a half mile southeast toward I-81 before dissipating. Numerous roofs were destroyed and windows blown out. Structures were sheared off near their foundation. Power poles were snapped with numerous lines down.”
Below are some videos from the scene:
Here’s a look at some of the damage after that possible tornado touched down in Wilkes-Barre Township around 10 o’clock last night. We’re live all morning with the latest @WNEP pic.twitter.com/2uV408WpdU
— Chase Senior (@Chase_Senior) June 14, 2018
JUST IN: @WNEP’s SKYCAM 16 over the apparent tornado damage near Wilkes-Barre, PA. The National Weather Service is expected here later today to determine if it was officially a tornado that caused all of this damage. @WNEPWeather pic.twitter.com/11qRMuL70x
— Ryan Leckey (@RyanLeckey) June 14, 2018
Unbelievable damage in Wilkes-Barre Township after storms ripped through the area last night. Six people injured, no fatalities reported. Join us on @wbrewyou this morning for the latest on the damage, and live reports from the hardest hit area. pic.twitter.com/EFX6NizznM
— Kelly Byrne (@KellyCByrne) June 14, 2018